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I've waited over fifty years for this moment to arrive, and it's finally MY turn to hold court. Yes, I'd long ago envisioned myself a foreign diplomat to Latin America. I'd be utilizing my beloved second tongue, attending august functions and carrying a document-laden briefcase filled with new treaties. I'd attend important meetings, dine at state functions, and bring North American ideas and ideals to our Spanish-speaking neighbors to the South. Unfortunately, the State Department hasn't seen fit to tap me on the shoulder, the Obama Administration hasn't called me for an appointment, and I haven't the inclination to play party crasher to any White House events. (Truth be told, I never applied to the State Department, bare no political label and would really hate having to wear those boring navy suits again.) At this point in my life, I'm far more inclined to attend the gala in my own fashions, speak for myself rather than an institution, and make my mark trading pithy comments with world leaders over dinner. (Besides, my Latin dance moves might not jive with official State protocol.) That said, it's now time for me to advance my own words with my version of Foreign Policy. Let's just say I'm advancing the Policy of Truth and Good Humor. Welcome to my Salon - so glad you could come!


Maura4u's Links

MARCH 15, 2012 3:33PM

March Madness Nail Biting Begins Today

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(An entertaining look from our alter-ego and talking microphone MIKE:)  

Today, America’s annual Nail Biting Binge officially begins.

Once again, those thin transparent plates covering the upper surfaces at the top of the end of your fingers are in big trouble; if you’re a serious college basketball fan – that is.

Regardless of your age, race, religion or socio-economic status, and whether you’re a fan of the Musketeers, Cavaliers or Mountaineers, the Wildcats, Cougars or Tigers, the Gaels, Owls or Cardinals, or even the Badgers, Bears or Boilermakers, starting this week your fingernails will never be same until well after Monday night, April 2nd, 2012.

Maddened by another early March malaise, munchers, crunchers and nibblers alike will be unwittingly fidgeting and feasting on fingernails while watching their favorite schools participate in College Basketball’s Big Dance of 2012.

From Vegas to Vermont, Florida to Philadelphia, Washington, DC to Washington state and Mississippi to Montana, no normal basketball fans’ fingernails will escape unscathed!

An onslaught of onychophagia (the medical world’s term for nail biting) will flourish - unchecked and unabated across all 50 states. The greatest cumulative nail loss this year will herald from the Tar Heel State as five teams from North Carolina have their tickets punched to compete for the coveted prom queen prize of playing in the Final Four in New Orleans during the first weekend in April.

So what’s next in this great Nail Biting Binge? Here are a few of my prognostications.

For one, meticulously manicured nails will be marred, munched unmercifully. Gnarly nails will be noticeably nibbled and nervously gnawed to nothing. As the NCAA field of 64 Men’s College Basketball Teams shrinks, sure to follow fast is the senseless slaughter of the nonliving epidermis surrounding the edges of the fingernails – making an un-pretty sight – un-prettier still!

In spite of this seemingly sanguine saga, prior tournament history shows that some nails will last longer with their cuticles carefully kept…at least for the first round or two…unless some sneaky Cinderella surreptitiously clips the claws of those fans, players, coaches and alumni from the NCAA’s more storied college basketball programs.

Expect Orange hued nails to be safe in Syracuse. Devilishly blue claws to escape any semblance of danger in Durham. And fly-over state fingernails to find them selves whole and healthy in Lawrence and Lexington as they sail straight into the field reserved for college basketball’s Sweet Sixteen.

Fortunately or sadly, depending on your perspective, Engineer fans from Lehigh and Hilltopper supporters from Western Kentucky should find solace in the security that they’ll probably not experience any reason whatsoever to nibble on their pinky nail or gnaw on their thumbnail as their teams’ chances for victory will vanish shortly after the opening tip against their heavily favored top seeded opponents.

However, as the brackets reduce and the nation’s annual Nail Biting Binge counts down to Monday night April 2nd, we’ll witness fans of these same number one seeds sporting gloves protecting Band Aid wrapped and Vaseline-laden fingers while watching their teams fight for a spot in the Final Four.

The great virtue of these notable Nail Biting Binges is that NO respectable college basketball fan really desires relief from this obsessive, compulsive behavioral habit.

Serious followers will willingly grind down a nail or two or maybe even all ten. When some games go down to the wire, they may even begin working on their toenails.

But do they care? By this same time next March, the nation’s cuticles will be cured and fingernails will be flourishing ….. only to be chipped, chomped, nipped and gnawed all over again for College Basketball’s Big Dance of 2013.

In the meantime I say, let the Nail Biting begin!

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone - thee ultimate talking head on sports!

March Madness certain to produce plenty of nail biting games.

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